the debate over gay marriage is over

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evilthecat:
snip

Unfortunately, most of your argument centres around current social consensus, and speculation about emotional damage and inherently abusive situations. Exactly the same kind of reasoning that was used to demonise homosexuality well into the first half of the 20th century.

Just sayin'.

There clearly IS a difference between a homosexual relationship and an incestuous one, but I don't feel you've identified the crucial difference.

Batou667:
Unfortunately, most of your argument centres around current social consensus, and speculation about emotional damage and inherently abusive situations. Exactly the same kind of reasoning that was used to demonise homosexuality well into the first half of the 20th century.

No.

Homosexuality was medicalized because it was widely believed, and remained so in many areas of the medical profession until quite recently, that the development of the human psyche had a natural trajectory resulting in heterosexuality. Homosexuality was not regarded as wrong because it was considered inherently abusive or violated the social consensus, but because it was seen as a violation of human nature itself.

Some people probably would see incest or necrophilia as fundamentally incompatible with the intended course of human psychological development, as simply "misplaced" desire which isn't real or genuine but the result of a failure to develop "normal" heterosexuality. But that's not what I just argued and it's not what I believe. Both incest and necrophilia are common sexual fantasies and both appear in popular culture, there is nothing wrong with having these fantasies or desires, it does not make you evil or less of a person. Neither, for that matter, does having zoophilic or paedophilic fantasies.

Yeah, there's a certain irony to graffiting the word "pedo" on someone's house with on one hand while frantically beating off over women in schoolgirl outfits with the other, but the willingness of our culture to do so it does also illustrate something important. The difference between an acceptable and an unacceptable sexual desire is no longer whether it exists, but how it is expressed. That wasn't true in the early 20th century (or at least, people didn't acknowledge it). How we understand human sexuality and "perversion" has completely changed, and the kinds of arguments which were used to label homosexuality as inherently anti-human no longer work.

evilthecat:

Homosexuality was medicalized because it was widely believed, and remained so in many areas of the medical profession until quite recently, that the development of the human psyche had a natural trajectory resulting in heterosexuality. Homosexuality was not regarded as wrong because it was considered inherently abusive or violated the social consensus, but because it was seen as a violation of human nature itself.

Sure, it was medicalised and seen as a mental illness - an abhorrent one that should inspire pity, but if your first instinct was to feel disgust or fury, well, those were acceptable too. But there was also the idea that a homosexual relationship was always exploitative or predatory - the idea that it could be consensual was simply unthinkable. In that way it shares a lot with incest and, hell, since we're apparently going "there", paedophilia.

(and for what it's worth, plenty of people today would be willing to offer "it goes against nature!" or "evolution never intended for this" as the bottom-line for disapproving of bestiality.)

Batou667:
Sure, it was medicalised and seen as a mental illness - an abhorrent one that should inspire pity, but if your first instinct was to feel disgust or fury, well, those were acceptable too. But there was also the idea that a homosexual relationship was always exploitative or predatory - the idea that it could be consensual was simply unthinkable. In that way it shares a lot with incest and, hell, since we're apparently going "there", paedophilia.

The reason public perception on homosexuality in the early 20th century shares a lot in common with paedophilia is actually pretty obvious. They were once considered to be symptoms of the same underlying condition. This is why certain pro-medicalization groups are still trying to claim that homosexuals (or at least gay men, they generally seem to have conveniently airbrushed out the once popular idea that lesbians were similarly predatory) are more predisposed to paedophilia than heterosexuals. It has cultural weight because it was once a commonly accepted piece of medical theory.

I don't think people in the early 20th century were as incredulous about same sex desire as you're trying to claim. True, homosexuality was not public and visible as it is today, but there was widespread knowledge of the existence of these people. It's easy to forget that the witch-hunt mentality of parts of 1950s society is actually not very representative. It was an exceptionally bad time to be gay.

The repressive hypothesis, that the 20th century represented a slow, linear liberalization of sexual norms, is just way too simple. There was much more a place for gay people in 1920s society than in 1950s society, for example. Gay culture was actually very vibrant in the 20s and 30s (particularly in continental Europe) and people do seem to have tacitly understood what was going on in the theaters, hotel lobbies and public lavatories under their noses. We know because they sometimes talked or wrote about it.

Also, let's not forget that there have been activist groups and movements advocating for rights and decriminalization for homosexuals since before the turn of the 20th century.

evilthecat:
We generally expect families to display a particular kind of love for each other, a love which is much less self-interested and unconditional than the love you might feel for a sexual partner.

This is the point that I've been wanting to make with this thread. Recently, we've decided that we expect a different love for families than we expect for marriage. Any two people who feel some love towards each other should be allowed to get married, but they might not have the right type of love to start a family. Marriage used to be about starting families, now it's just about self interest and personal gratification because someone else wants to be with me.

I entitled this thread "the debate is over" because I realized that it can no longer be about homosexuals and heterosexuals; it's about marriage itself. We're ruining the world and before anyone can post the picture of Maud Flanders saying "think of the children," let me reiterate that gay marriage is not the problem, it's a symptom of the larger problem. The larger problem is that we are so absorbed with gratifying our own wants now that we're tearing down the future our children have to build on.

Let's look at some of the other symptoms of this problem. Economists say that the rising generation will be the first in almost a century to be financially worse off than their parents. Health experts contend that the average life expectancy of the next generation will be less than that of the previous. We might be filling our world with luxuries and toys to satisfy our own self interests, but we're destroying our ability to enjoy the fruits of our labors.

Previous generations have left a legacy of the sacrifices they made to make life better for subsequent generations. Evolution has led us to form families around our offspring. Isolated societies have all defined cultures for uniting parents in a legally binding contract so they can work together to raise their children. None of these systems were perfect and abuses exist in even the best of systems, but this is no excuse for the way we've torn the system down. We have completely separated marriage and children; single parents have children outside of marriage and couples marry for themselves with no intention to contribute to a coming generation.

So I've finally figured out why the whole debate has had me spinning for so long. Two people who love each other and are willing to support each other are noble and beautiful regardless of the genders involved. These people should have the rights and abilities to take care of each other regardless of whether their relationship is amorous or platonic (I guess this is off topic, but I am surprised that we can't imagine this love in a platonic relationship; we can't even portray Sherlock Holmes without a *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*). While seeing the gentle tranquility of a loving relationship, I couldn't understand why the debates always seemed misdirected. I've recently realized that the debates shouldn't be about homosexuality at all. The true debate is about whether or not marriage is just about getting social privileges for being sexually exclusive.

I know where I stand on that topic, but for now, I need to get my old fashioned self out to churn our butter before it gets to cold and dark.

/2¢

TheLycanKing144:

SonicWaffle:

TheLycanKing144:
2)Don't allow gay marriage, but instead allow civil unions with all the same benefits of marriage. This way everyone get's the same rights without forcing straight couples to change the definition of something they don't believe in. This is the option I personally prefer.

Hey, maybe we should have seats at the back of the bus for gay people too, and all the straights can sit up front! I mean, it's the same bus, right? They still get exactly where they were going. It's just that we get to segregate all those dirty homos into their own area and pretend that we aren't riding the same bus as them.

nor are gay people being directly discriminated against either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_panic_defense

How you can possibly say this without being terribly ashamed of yourself is beyond me.

You're either delusional or have done literally no research.

I am gay, I HAVE been discriminated against.

Meh. The people who say marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman don't know what they're talking about. It might be for them, but not for everyone, and last time I checked, you're not supposed to get your way in this country just because your religion says so.

Gay marriage has been recognized in North America, or at least parts of it, for a long, long time. The definition just got temporarily revised when the Europeans showed up.

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